What you dream every night, although wingless in your sleep, that you are
flying, using the force of gravity as part of your headlong game, happy,
surprised, bemused each time at the art of flying

perhaps it is proof that your most distant ancestor was one of those birds
hatched in the highest air corridors and, freed from the Earth’s gravitational
pull, never descending to the ground and taking food, sleep on the wing,
even making love under the open sky and above the open earth

that he was one of those creatures needing nothing but height and distance,
satisfying all their wants through the umbilical cord to their own bliss.

The birds lay their eggs in the air, and fly away leaving it to the sun to
hatch them. The egg plummets toward the Earth ever faster and usually
somewhere halfway a divine chicken from inside breaks through its covering,
shakes loose the membrane and soon, when the Sun dries its wings, its fall
turns into flight, and a return to the heights, where its family flies.

But it can happen that because of cloudy weather, or because its journey is
too short, or because of the strength of the membrane, an egg reaches the
Earth intact and then breaks open on striking the ground.

The creature who is hatched in this way stays on the Earth to live, neither
immortal nor divine, not knowing the story of its ancestors, but often
dreaming that he is flying, through the sphere of the unconscious passing
the dream to his descendents.

Ramakrishna, Swami Muktananda and Sri Aurobindo often used to tell this
tale, never tiresome to the ear, and along with them hundreds of others,
each in his own way, and yet each one without mistake.